2018 Draft: Raiders Potential Day 3 Targets

And just like that, we’re walking into the third and final day of the 2018 NFL Draft.

I hope you all have something a lot more fun and exciting planned for this afternoon. Go outside, enjoy the weather, see some friends or family. Something, anything else.

At this point in the draft, the Raiders’ haul has been underwhelming at best. In fact, in my opinion, it’s been bad, especially when considering some of the talent that was left on the board through three rounds.

Although I prefer not to discuss what transpired in the first round, offensive tackle Kolton Miller feels like a reach (even after sliding down to 15 overall). He has an incredible athletic profile, but if you’re counting on Tom Cable to unlock his potential, you’ve essentially set yourself up to be disappointed as his track record is self-explanatory. NFL Draft Scout, however, also had a first-round grade on the UCLA Bruin for whatever that’s worth.

Jon Gruden, who is unquestionably running things from here on out, went “need” at 57 overall (after some more trading) and selected defensive tackle P.J. Hall. Hall was just as surprised as everyone else when his name was called in Round 2. The three players that went right after the Sam Houston State defender: CB Isaiah Oliver, RB Derrius Guice, and WR James Washington. NFL Draft Scout had a third-round grade on Hall.

To start Round 3, Coach Gruden once again traded, this time back up the board, and selected another offensive tackle in Brandon Parker from North Carolina A&T State. Parker’s raw, and faced a lower-level of competition; the Raiders are once again counting on Tom Cable to bring him along. NFL Draft Scout had a 4-5 round grade on him.

Jon Gruden closed out Round 3 by – you guessed it – trading up for troubled edge defender Arden Key. Arden Key was, at one point, widely considered a top 10 player in the class, but a season of underwhelming production, poor testing, and too many off-field questions had completely tanked his stock. This is one selection that I can get behind, I guess. We’ve seen the flashes. Assuming his head is right, I find myself having a bit more faith in defensive coordinate Paul Guenther when it comes to prospect development. Learning and playing along side Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin (notably the former) should pay dividends as well. NFL Draft Scout handed out a 2-3 round grade.

Now that we’re all good and sad again, let’s open the “big board” one final time and figure out who’s still hanging around.

In addition to my “best available”, I’ll also throw out some other names that missed the top 100, but are personal favorites and possible fits for one reason or another.

It can’t get any worse, right you guys?

IDL Maurice Hurst (8)

Per Vic Tafur, sadly, the Raiders are out on Mo Hurst given the questions surrounding his heart. Just an incredibly sad story for one of the draft’s more talented players and better people in general. Here’s to hoping Hurst catches on somewhere. He has a fan for life in me.

CB Quenton Meeks (26)

Meeks just missed the top 25, as one of the drafts more intelligent and football-savvy players. He’d add serviceable depth, while pushing free agent corner Rashaan Melvin for starting time.

EDGE Josh Sweat (29)

Talent shouldn’t be in question, but the injury history is obviously a concern for these clubhouses. If Oakland can walk away with both Arden Key and Josh Sweat, they would’ve added two of the higher-upside pass rushers (both with plenty of question marks).

WR Antonio Callaway (35)

My WR2 with plenty of off-field and character-type concerns of his own; admitted to smoking before/during the Combine. Talent alone puts him in Round 2.

OT Tyrell Crosby (39)

One can assume the medicals are no good for this starting-caliber offensive tackle. One could also assume that with two already selected, the Raiders are content with what they got?

EDGE Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (44)

Size may be a deterrent, but he’s got the juice.

EDGE Duke Ejiofor (51)

Improved and improving player. Raiders should continue to add talent to the defensive line.

WR Equanimeous St. Brown (54)

One of the smoother wide receivers in this year’s class with the proper athletic profile. Victim of terrible quarterback play in 2017.

RB John Kelly (59)

Won’t standout athletically, but his game – notably his ability as a receiver – translates.

SS/CB Dane Cruikshank (65)

Can play in the box a la Minkah Fitzpatrick, but also has the athleticism to work on the boundary.

SS DeShon Elliott (69)

Above average range, if asked to play deep, evidence by his turnovers last year.

RB Nyheim Hines (73)

One of my favorite players in this year’s class. He has track speed and hands (wide receiver background). Could line-up at several spots on the field. Satellite back-plus.

WR DaeSean Hamilton (74)

Routes are very crispy, to go along with his sterling character. You want him on your team.

TE Ian Thomas (75)

I was obviously higher on Thomas than the consensus, but his athleticism is obvious. Ascending player with JUCO roots.

RB Jaylen Samuels (79)

Speaking of gadget players, you can legitimately run Samuels at either RB, TE, or WR. Play-maker.

FS Jordan Whitehead (80)

Talented, rangy safety with “off-field” concerns.

LB Genard Avery (82)

Tested well for his size. Questions in coverage dropping his value.

LB Shaquem Griffin (84)

Incredible person, incredible pass-rusher.

FS Marcus Allen (87) and FS Kyzir White (91)

Oakland’s been linked to the former, and despite passing on talented safeties early on, Jon Gruden appears to be targeting some options in Day 3.

RB Mark Walton (92)

Didn’t test how many would’ve liked, but still has plus-hands and may be the draft’s best pass protector at the position.

LB Jack Cichy (99)

Talented but oft-injured linebacker who excels downhill as well as in coverage.

WR Justin Watson (100)

Top-tier athlete coupled with notable production.

Best of the rest and/or some personal favorites remaining:

CB Nick Nelson, CB Holton Hill, WR Deontay Burnett, WR Auden Tate, LB Skai Moore, RB Kalen Ballage, SS/FS Quin Blanding, LB Josey Jewell, WR Deon Cain, P Michael Dickson, P JK Scott (I fully expect the Raiders to draft a punter), WR Allen Lazard, WR Korey Robertson, LB Tegray Scales, LB Joel Iyiegbuniwe, and EDGE Joel Ostman.

You can view all my rankings (with the exception of OL, DL, and QB) here, as I didn’t list all the names above of course:

Thank you all for following along this offseason.

Same time, same place next year – deal?

Catch me on Twitter: @StillRyanFive


2 thoughts on “2018 Draft: Raiders Potential Day 3 Targets

  1. Would be really excited to get Sweat, Hurst, Hines, Hill & Hamilton. All extremely talented guys. Sweat & Hurst are unfortunate, because it’s not anything that’s their fault, but they’re probably going undrafted.

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